Friday 17 May 2024

Do not forget to honour rights of others while observing As Saum (Fasting) other than in month of Ramadan

Fasting in the month of Ramadan is Divinely ordained on every adult and health Muslim, man and woman. Other than these obligatory fasts / As Saum, one can keep fast any time throughout the year, except the two Eids. 

However, it is often seen that many observe fasts more than what is needed, something that was even observed by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in his days when newly reverted Muslims thought it would earn them more blessings of Allah. In this regard we share a Hadith attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in which he lays down the criteria for the non obligatory fasts so that rights of others, even the right of a man's body are not compromised or over looked.

This Hadith is mentioned in Sahi al-Bukhārī  (Book 30 Fasting /  كتاب الصوم / Chapter 55:  The right of the body in observing As-Saum. / باب حَقِّ الْجِسْمِ فِي الصَّوْمِ) as Hadith 1975, given herein under:

Narrated by `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As:

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said to me, "O `Abdullah! Have I not been informed that you fast during the day and offer prayers all the night." `Abdullah replied, "Yes, O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)!" The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Don't do that; fast for few days and then give it up for few days, offer prayers and also sleep at night, as your body has a right on you, and your wife has a right on you, and your guest has a right on you. And it is sufficient for you to fast three days in a month, as the reward of a good deed is multiplied ten times, so it will be like fasting throughout the year." I insisted (on fasting) and so I was given a hard instruction. I said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! I have power." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Fast like the fasting of the Prophet (ﷺ) David and do not fast more than that." I said, "How was the fasting of the Prophet (ﷺ) of Allah, David?" He said, "Half of the year," (i.e. he used to fast on every alternate day). Afterwards when `Abdullah became old, he used to say, "It would have been better for me if I had accepted the permission of the Prophet (which he gave me i.e. to fast only three days a month).

Arabic Text:
حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ مُقَاتِلٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، أَخْبَرَنَا الأَوْزَاعِيُّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي يَحْيَى بْنُ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو سَلَمَةَ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ لِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ أَلَمْ أُخْبَرْ أَنَّكَ تَصُومُ النَّهَارَ وَتَقُومُ اللَّيْلَ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ بَلَى يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَلاَ تَفْعَلْ، صُمْ وَأَفْطِرْ، وَقُمْ وَنَمْ، فَإِنَّ لِجَسَدِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا، وَإِنَّ لِعَيْنِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا، وَإِنَّ لِزَوْجِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا، وَإِنَّ لِزَوْرِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا، وَإِنَّ بِحَسْبِكَ أَنْ تَصُومَ كُلَّ شَهْرٍ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ، فَإِنَّ لَكَ بِكُلِّ حَسَنَةٍ عَشْرَ أَمْثَالِهَا، فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ صِيَامُ الدَّهْرِ كُلِّهِ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَشَدَّدْتُ، فَشُدِّدَ عَلَىَّ، قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، إِنِّي أَجِدُ قُوَّةً‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَصُمْ صِيَامَ نَبِيِّ اللَّهِ دَاوُدَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ وَلاَ تَزِدْ عَلَيْهِ ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ وَمَا كَانَ صِيَامُ نَبِيِّ اللَّهِ دَاوُدَ ـ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ ـ قَالَ ‏"‏ نِصْفَ الدَّهْرِ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَكَانَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ يَقُولُ بَعْدَ مَا كَبِرَ يَا لَيْتَنِي قَبِلْتُ رُخْصَةَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏

The Hadith above clearly shows that while fasting other than the month of Ramadan, one has to be mindful of the strength of one's body to endure the rigours of fasting if these are done beyond a limit. Also while a man chooses to fasts for longer durations, he compromises the rights of one's spouse on him and others around. Let us not over do things to bag more blessings than others by indulging in worship that robs the rights of others on us. Let us follow a medium path in our worship, otherwise it will displease others which is least liked by Allah.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our reference page: Collection of Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  for more Hadiths on the General Subjects.

Please refer to our reference page: Collection of Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ about Saum - Fasting in Ramadan for more Hadiths on the subject

For more hadiths on varying subjects, refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about Hadiths and Sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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